Ricki’s Rockin’ Raw Bars & Meet “The Zester”

A few weeks back Ricki posted a most excellent raw bar she created. The “Fig and Cherry Bars have become my favourite raw bar and I’ve made these puppies 4 times already! (This is indeed a lot because neither the Guppy or Mr. Fish will eat them. I don’t know why. They are the best raw bar I’ve ever had, let alone made!).

When I first read the recipe, I wanted to make them post haste, the only problem was I didn’t have any dried cherries. I looked around my kitchen (this took me about 5 seconds because I have a lilliputian French apartment kitchen!). Dried cherries I had not, alas, but an unassuming sealed bag of dried prunes caught my eye. Pourquoi pas? Dried prunes are very sweet, quite high in calcium (which was what these bars were all about!), and rather moist (a bonus in the raw bar department, really).

I’m thrilled to report that the dried prunes rocked the raw bars without a doubt – they were moist and sweet enough that I could opt out on the optional agave syrup, so yeah for that. After doing a little scooby-dooing around my petite ville I found that if I really wanted dried cherries I also had to be ready to shell out nearly 15E for about a handful. To this I said, non. If you’ve got dried cherries priced for the proletariat in your hood, however, I suggest you follow Ricki’s recipe. I’m sure they’d be all tarty-delicious. I also added 2 tablespoons of carob powder to one of the batches and it was a very good move.

This little gadget is one of the best kitchen investments I’ve ever made. Maybe I’m the last human on this planet to have ignored the existence of these puppies, I don’t know. I do know that removing the zest from citrus has always driven me nuts, and to be honest I would sometimes skip it because I found it to be such a pain (I know *hanging head*). Then I found “The Zester”. I love this thing. It has made zesting about 90% less annoying. It is so handy and it was worth every cent of the 7E I spent!

And because this post is all about Ricki (and that’s ok, because she’s pretty rockin’), here’s a sloppy picture of my Radish and Grapefruit Salad. Radishes are so good for you- very good for muscle tissue recuperation (I wish I could link to the two articles I’ve read about this but I cannot find them for the life of me! One was from a Sports Therapy Journal and the other was written by Amby Burfoot for Runner’s World). Despite their good-for-you-ness, I have a tough time working them into my meals, but the tartness of the grapefruit marries perfectly with the bitterness of the radishes. I added a generous teaspoon of tahini to the dressing and it was perfect!

Larabars? No! Make your own raw goodness! Coconut Carob Banana Bread Bars


I don’t want to offend any hard-core Larabar lovers out there. I really like them, and brought a bunch back from the US with me (though my stash was quickly depleted), but let’s face it kids – they are muy expensive, and you can make some similar tasting yummies at home.

Back in October during Vegan MoFo I posted this recipe for Raw Banana Bread Bars. They are yummy bars, but I was playing with the recipe, trying to come up with something new and a little more daring for breakfast. I really like the way these turned out, the ginger gives them just the right amount of sassyness, and coconut and carob are always happy together!

Raw Coconut Carob Banana Bread Bars

  • 130g raw almonds
  • 30g dried ginger (about 2 or 3 chunks)
  • 4 or 5 dehydrated bananas, chopped (these are soft, not the hard dried ones)
  • 60g unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons carob
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • a little water, as needed

In your food processor grind up the almonds first, then add the rest of the ingredients. You may need to add more or less water, depending on how dry your bananas are, and if you have carob issues you could swap it for cocoa powder of course.


Once things are ground up to your liking and sticking together, they’ll need to set just a bit. I put mine in this cute little silicon flower mold – and I got 6. You could also just line a tupperware-type container with plastic wrap or parchment paper and press it flat with your fingers. I put mine in the fridge for the afternoon, then took them out and wrapped them individually for easier portability. I keep them in the fridge, and while I’m not a food Scientist, I’ve kept them for 2 weeks and they were still a-ok.


I’m hoping to try a walnut variation on these, so I’ll let you know how that works out. Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday out there, kids!

More Raw Delights (and a recipe!) for Sweet Freedom Saturday

This week’s recipe is a favourite of mine : Cocoa Nibbles! These raw bars rival any over-priced, mass-produced bars you can find in your local supermarket or health food store and are quick and easy to make.

Cocoa Nibbles

I admit to using carob powder in lieu of cocoa powder, just because. The recipe provides some great add-in ideas, keeping this recipe fresh and different depending on your mood (and what you have on hand). This time around I added cinnamon and ground Vanilla Rooibos Tea. Rooibos or Red Tea is just full of anti-oxidants, and I love the vanilla flavour it adds. I often add a teaspoon of rooibos to my smoothies or raw bars…that’s just the kind of girl I am.

I’m not the best bar-shaper, mostly because I don’t really care about their visual aesthetic. I just want them to be delicious. After I roll them out into a log-shape and chill, I cut them up, and set them on a piece of foil. You can use the foil to push them into a square or bar shape, and your fingers stay clean!


You don’t have to individually wrap these, but I like to have them as on-the-go snacks. Don’t they look so “Lost In Space”esque?

Ready for the best part? You can make these, even if you don’t have Sweet Freedom yet! Visit Diet, Dessert and Dogs for the Cocoa Nibbles recipe!


Have you made anything yummy from Sweet Freedom this week ? Stay tuned next Saturday for another installment of “Sweet Freedom Saturdays”. We’ve also got a brand new Sweet Freedom Flickr Group – come join us! Other Sweet Freedom Saturday deliciousness here in the Fishbowl : Mrs. K’s Date Cake, Raw Apricot Bars, Tomato Spice Cake, Carrot Snack Cake, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Gingered Apple Muffins, Spiced Pumpkin Millet Pudding.

Blessed Eid ul-Fitr & Shana Tovah Kids! Raw Vegan MoFo Thursdays!

Don’t you just love how all the big holidays just seem to happen at the same time? Sundown tonight marks Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, we’re also “fêting” Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and we just celebrated the Fall Equinox – oh, and it JUST HAPPENS TO BE VeganMoFo…coiencidence? I think not!

The Universe has all its ducks in a row to help us feel a bit of union with our fellow wo and man, Vegan or otherwise, and that just makes me feel all fuzzy-happy-granola-handing out daisys-ish.

And before we get all wrapped up in our Raw Thursday excitement, let’s not forget about the big Vice-Presidential Debate happening in the United States, either. Ahem, Vote Democrat People, ahem.

Anyway, I just love a good Raw Thursday, so let’s get started!

Breakfast :

My morning began with a lovely smoothie – a frozen banana, a small pear, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a big handful of fresh chopped parsley, and about a half cup of fresh apple juice. I have no picture, because at 6 a.m. in my kitchen there is no light save the orangy-glow of my ecologically-friendlyish lightbulb. Just imagine it was pretty and it tasted fresh and crisp like the autumn morning.

A.M. Snack :

The Raw Thursday post-run mid-morning snackie-poo was a Raw Banana Bread Bar. You know when you do something so obviously simple, yet it turns out freaking perfect? Well kids, that’s what this was all about for the Shellyfish. I wanted to re-create some of the Fancy-Over-Priced-Raw-Bar goodness, and I did it all by my self! Sorry about the crappy picture, but I took it while eating, so there you go. Here’s the so easy recipe so you can make them at home and feel very proud of yourself, too:


  • 100g  raw almonds
  • Three dried bananas, chopped
  • 150g pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • water

I put the almonds in the food processor first to grind ’em up a bit, then added everything save the water, which I slowly added to help make a paste. The consistency is still a bit sticky, so maybe next time I’ll use less dates & less water, and maybe throw in some walnuts…but the taste is dead bang, kids. Wow!

Lunch :

A humongous salad  with fresh battavia lettuce, freshly grated carrots, corn (frozen, well, thawed frozen, duh), and my usual “I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing” vinagrette which is usually apple cider vinegar, some olive or other oil, a clove of garlic, some tahini, maybe some fresh herbs, etc. I also had me an “Almond Flaxseed Burger” from Brendan Brazier’s The Thrive Diet. Oh how I lament that talented professional athlete and vegan Brazier caved to the marketing whimsies of his publisher and dubbed this book a “Diet” book. Grrrr. It’s not really a diet book, though it does have a very high-raw meal plan and a very small selection of recipes in it. It’s a good read if you’re vegan, raw-curious, and an athlete. I picked it up last Spring after Jen suggested it – thanks Jen! – it’s handy because it does have recipes for making your own energy bars and recuperation puddings and such.

P.M. Snack

The afternoon snack is really key for me on my Raw Thursdays because I do feel rather peckish around l’heure du goûter or snack time, not to mention that I don’t eat dinner until nearly 8 p.m.  Yesterday I posted the recipe for Tahitian Almond Dip (by popular demand), and that got me craving it, but as I was taking out the ingredients I decided to not leave good enough alone and change it up a little. Holy freaking Almond Dip Batman! I am so glad I decided to play with this, because it is so darn good…it has this amazing Fall-Carameled Apple feeling to it (though I’m sure nothing like Maggie’s Vegan Caramel Apples, drool, drool). Try this, you will not be disappointed!


  • About a cup raw almond butter (I just eyeballed it, because it is so annoying to measure nut butters and have them get all sticky on the measuring cups.)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved & scraped a bit
  • fresh apple juice – I have no idea how much, maybe 1/2 a cup? I just kept adding it until it was creamy enough.

I put everything save the juice in the food processor, then started adding the juice when things got gummy.

Dinner :

I haven’t acutally had dinner yet! I can tell you, though, that I’ll be having another huge salad – this time with shreaded zuchini and raw beets, and I’ll be having the other “Almond Flaxseed Burger” because the recipe makes 2, really 3, small patties. I know if I wait until after dinner the chances of my getting this post up today are drastically reduced…so better now than tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, stay tuned! It’ll be the big drawing for the felty-love pouch! I’m so excited!

Raw Tuesdays! Mardi tout cru!

I am still your Raw Connection for Tuesdays…but I didn’t manage to post last night, so let’s just pretend that it’s Tuesday, shall we? Merci!

No surprise here! (Liz, stop drooling! I know how these babies affect you!). This was my almost last one…I might have one more left…that I brought back from my still-not-properly-posted about North American vacation. I’ll probably be making more of these soon to fill in the void. I also think it’s time for me to try to make some other raw bars. I mean, the ingredients list on the Lärabar package is usually like two to three things long : cashews, dates. I must be able to figure this out. And look at my wound! I nearly cut a hunk of my thumb off in a bizarre onion chopping incident. Horrible. Gruesome. I wanted a Dora bandage, but I couldn’t find them in the medicine cabinet…

For lunch I re-visited the Japanese Mushroom soup I posted about here, because I had such great memories of it being delish about two weeks ago. It was delish last time, but this time it left something to be desired. I think my disappointment came from some slight changes I had to make to the recipe – only used one kind of mushroom, you can’t get Braggs here so I fudged my marinade, and while I used sweet white miso the first time, this time I used the darker, evil cousin, brown rice miso. I did manage to eat two big bowls (of mostly mushrooms), but am ashamed to say the broth went down the toilet the next day. I hate the waste, but did figure out what I liked about that particular recipe!

Now for the very cool “new favorite thing” discovery of this installment of Raw Tuesdays :

These delicious little gems are called “Carob Confections” and they are from a raw food book I picked up while in the U.S. called The Raw Gourmet by Nomi Shannon. Nomi rocks. Hard. This is a slim volume but packed with full-color glossy punch. It’s so great to have pictures of the food, and not of the author! (Nomi has a tasteful little pic next to her bio, and that’s it. Congrats on having your priorities straight Ms. Shannon). These were made in like 5 minutes, rolled in almond meal, and devoured! They became my favorite snackie-poo, dessert, and post-run breakfast today. They reminded me more of truffles than anything I’ve ever had, besides truffles I mean.

For dinner, I made some of the Spicy Pecans from Ani’s Raw :

These were simple and delicious, a nice addition to my big, huge dinner salad :

The sweet glaze on the pecans eliminated any need for a dressing, so this is just tons of shredded carrots (I love shredded carrots), corn cut from the cob, batavia lettuce, diced green onion, raw sesame seeds, and yes, you’re not hallucinating, avocado! As most of you know I tend to avoid avocados because though I LOVE them, they aren’t so very local. When I went to the marché (the outdoor market for you kids playing at home) my usual vendor who never, ever has avocados had a huge bin of them and they were 3 for 2E! Let me tell you folks, that’s muy cheap here in France. I caved and loved every luscious bite!

My Raw Summary for this Tuesday : eating raw once a week has really helped me to be more mindful about all the other crap I eat all week long. I like to pride myself in being a healthy vegan, but let’s face it, cupcakes are not healthy. I also like that it reminds my body what true hunger feels like, as it is not to be confused with “being in the mood” for a cookie or some of that warm baguette I just bought.

Raw Tuesdays…on Thursday & a question for my dear Vegan friends…

Raw Tuesday went down as planned, though not blogged, but I *am* on vacation and I needed to get that Daring Bakers post up yesterday, so here is this week’s installment of Raw Tuesdays on, well, Thursday!

Breakfast was yet another post-run green smoothie. I will take a picture of one of those things eventually (I should be able to since I drink one pretty much every morning!). My two most popular choices are 1) almond milk, a banana, a large, cored apple added to a blender of loosely-packed spinach or 2) a banana, a cup of fresh blueberries or strawberries, and apple juice or almond milk with spinach. Yum! Depending on how hard my morning run was or how busy I am, I sometimes find myself needing a snack mid-morning. I caved to my inner-consumer and did buy a few of these:

In my defense, I don’t have a food processor here, so I can’t make these, which are a billion times less expensive and just as yum! Often what I’ll do is have about a half a bar before a run and the other half as a 10ish snacky-poo.

For lunch we had the “Baja Cheeze Burrito with Taco Nut Meat and Red Pepper Corn Salsa” from Ani’s Raw Kitchen. We were “supposed” to eat them wrapped in cabbage leaves, but we used collards, because we’re punk rock like that. While I didn’t manage to remember to snap a pic at lunch, I did remember to take a picture of our dinner, which was our left-overs served over salad rather than as wrap :

This is a crappy picture, and I’m sorry, but if you look carefully you can see the globs of green Baja Cheeze, Nut Taco Meat Romaine boats sitting on the spinach, and the Red Pepper Corn Salsa piled on in the middle. We mostly liked this trio. The salsa was fun because corn cut fresh from the cob is always a good thing, and the Baja Cheeze was very yummy, but a little rich. We really liked the Taco Nut Meat, but found ourselves mixing it with extra tomatoes and spinach to lighten it up a little. There is a very similar taco meat recipe to the one we used here over at Jen’s Fuel section (and while you’re there, check out her many other offerings!).

After lunch we made up a batch of “Cashew Coconut Pudding” to snack on with some fruit :

We made up a big fruit salad with watermelon, blueberries, bananas and gogi berries and served it up with the pudding. The pudding recipe made a huge amount, and we were able to snack on it for a few days, which is always a good thing. It’s really just cashews, water, dates & shredded coconut all whirled together, but it’s yummy!

What we’ve noticed as we’re trying to eat more and more raw meals and snacks is that it does require a bit of planning, but also how expensive the nuts and dried fruits are. I know that we’re in the midst of a global food crisis and that food prices have gone up as much as 85% on certain items, but I was surprised to see foods here in the U.S. nearly as expensive as in Europe!

Now for a little question : What is your favourite Raw Foods book? I am hoping to buy one more Raw foods book before I leave for home, and would love some suggestions! The only thing is I don’t have a dehydrator, so a book that’s reliant on dehydrators won’t really work for me. I would love some feedback, so feel free to leave a comment or email me!

How do you celebrate freedom? With a giveaway, of course! Sweet Freedom Saturday

Thank you for the wonderful response! Congratulations to our winners, found here.

Happy Saturday everyone! I just love Saturday, and what can make your Saturday even sweeter? How about some Raw Apricot Bars?

Raw Apricot Bars

These delicious raw bars will satisfy your sweet tooth in an oh-so-healthy and delicious way. They are a real snap to prepare which I just love, and you can even frost them if you want to with the Coconut Date Frosting recipe – also raw of course! I opted to just give them a light sprinkling of shredded coconut this time around.

I wish I could say they were a big hit with Guppy, but, alas, they were not. She is such a funny bunny; she just loves raw and dried fruits, but she just can’t get her raw treats groove on. Monsieur Fish is the same way – salé raw cuisine is no problémo, but when it’s sucré, he just wrinkles his nose. Whateveah. That means more raw goodness for me! These would be an excellent mid-morning or mid-afternoon sweet snacky treat – portable and easy to stash in your gym bag or purse. Who needs to purchase over-priced raw bars? These are even tastier!

Now, didn’t I say something about a giveaway?


It’s nearly July, and that means three of my favourite freedom-related holidays : July 1st is Canada Day, July 4th is Independence Day, and July 14th is Bastille Day here in France. Wee! While I could debate the idea of freedom, and it’s obvious subjectivity – I won’t. At least not today. Today I’m here to share Sweet Freedom with you! Author Ricki Heller, who blogs at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, has graciously donated two copies of Sweet Freedom, a hard-copy and a PDF, for me to give to YOU!

We’re entering into the “heat” of BBQ season, and you’ll be the hero of the picnic when you arrive with treats that everyone can enjoy!

There are three ways to enter :

  • Just leave a comment below to be entered. You can improve your chances of winning by doing one (or both) of the following :
  • You can Tweet about the giveaway, linking back to this post. This will score you an additional 3 entries. (Visit Tiny URL if you need to condense.) Just don’t forget to comment with a link to your Tweet so it can be counted!
  • Blog about the giveaway, linking back here. 3 more entries are yours! Just don’t forget to comment with a link to your blogpost so it can be counted!

The drawing will be closed next Saturday, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, July 1st, to celebrate Canada Day in style! Bonne chance à tous!

Have you made anything yummy from Sweet Freedom this week ? Stay tuned next Saturday for another installment of “Sweet Freedom Saturdays”. We’ve also got a brand new Sweet Freedom Flickr Group – come join us! Other Sweet Freedom Saturday Deliciousness here in the Fishbowl : Tomato Spice Cake, Carrot Snack Cake, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Gingered Apple Muffins, Spiced Pumpkin Millet Pudding.



The Sweet:

Apple Cobbler

Apricot Oat (Granola) Bars

Caramel Pecan Cookies

Chili-Citrus Chocolate Cupcakes con Orange Confit (orangettes)

Crispy Sticky Puffed Rice Treats


Easy Ganache

Easy Powdered Sugar Icing

Mihl’s Birthday Cake

Rhubarb Crisp

Groovy Granola

Chewy Almond Peanutbutter Cookies

Pina Colada Ice Cream

Gâteau au fromage/tofu cheese cake

Hazelnut Sandies with Berberries

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Riz au lait/rice pudding

Vegan Frangipan

The Savory:

Easy-Peasy Pasta (Guppy-approved/kid-friendly)

Potato Tourte/tourte de pommes de terres

Quinoa & Lentils w/yogurt sauce

Couldn’t be easier Quinoa casserole

Quinoa, Tempeh & Sautéed Veggies

Super Delicious Fonio Casserole

Quinoa aux champignons/Quinoa, fennel & mushrooms

Tempeh with Bulgur and Celery

Sunshine in a bowl Corn Chowder

Gratiné de coquillettes au potiron (baked pumpkin pasta au gratin)

Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

Smashing Grain Casserole


Sauces & Spreads:

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Easy Bechamel Sauce


Smoky Black Bean Dip

Garlic Gravy

Raw Goodness:

Fall Almond Dip

Vanilla Crème Sauce

Raw Coconut Cream Pie & Crust

Raw Banana Bread Bars

Raw Ranch Dressing

Coconut Carob Banana Bread Bars

Baked Yummies:

Berry Scuffins

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Scones

Banana Oat Bread

Low-Fat Chocolate Cake

En français:

gâteau (presque) léger au chocolat

Gressins au citron

glaçage au citron

sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris